‘The Third Wife’ is the latest book by Lisa Jewell.
London 2011: In the early hours of a summer morning, a young woman is killed by a bus. A tragic accident? Or suicide? A year later, her devastated husband, Adrian Wolfe, is determined to find out. Adrian and Maya had only recently married, and he’d always believed they were happy together. His children from his two previous marriages loved her. And Maya loved them. She had a job she enjoyed, she had plenty of friends, and she and Adrian were trying for a baby. They seemed to have the perfect life. Why then might she have wanted to kill herself? When Adrian finds a hidden stash of poisonous emails on Maya’s laptop he begins to identify the dark cracks in her life. Because everyone has secrets. And secrets have consequences. Some of which can be devastating.
Lisa is back with another cracker of a book that wrecked my sleep pattern for two nights in a row as I sat up late reading eager to see how the story would end.
The story is written in Lisa’s sharp, concise style and begins right at the moment where the leading character Maya realises that her life is in chaos and is tragically killed in a freak accident. The story then moves in different parts flashing between past and present tenses with various people from Maya’s life as they all deal with her sudden death and possibility of it being either murder or suicide.
The flashbacks from the past are primarily seen through Maya’s perspective and this I found made for particularly interesting and chilling reading as she discovers that someone close to her is watching her every move and threatening her but what is even scarier for Maya, it seems to be someone within the extended family, who all welcomed Maya into the family with open arms. In these scenes, we also see her doubt the life that she was initially secure with, but as the threats grow more menacing Maya retreats into herself. Maya is a sweet woman, a lot younger than her husband Adrian and settles into the role as the third wife. She seems comfortable in the new position but feels pressure to have a baby and suddenly finds herself developing feelings for an unlikely suitor.
The present chapters feature Adrian Maya’s husband, as he gathers information leading up to Maya’s death and finds a few surprises along the way as well as a mysterious woman who knows a lot about Maya. His children also feature in the book, from young children to young adults, we see their reactions and thoughts on the sudden loss of their fathers third wife. Adrian was also an interesting character, he moved easily from relationship to the next, not really thinking about the consequences of his actions and also seemed to be in love with the notion of finding love. His family was an unique one, having divorced two women amicably, both families regularly holiday and hang out together without any animosity towards each other.
Lisa’s books covers have always had a certain style with them, whether it is an illustration or a stylish Instagram type of photograph. But, the cover to ‘The Third Wife’ is an interesting move with simply three sets of wings on a clothesline giving nothing away which definitely makes for intriguing reading.
I’ve been a fan of Lisa for a few years and after reading ‘The Third Wife’ in two days, I have to say this is my favourite book by her. It’s deliciously dark, twisty and really hooks the reader in. Having crossed over from female fiction into literature that is quite a bit darker, Lisa has delivered a cleverly written and a shocking treat of a story with unexpected turns, dark characters and plenty of twists that will keep you guessing right to the very end.
You can buy The Third Wife from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.